HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Though the number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations in Connecticut is on a steady decline, state officials are calling on civic-minded residents to add to the volunteer efforts supporting communities.
In addition to medical professionals volunteering in hospitals, the state also needs all kinds of volunteers doing all kinds of things. For instance, there are lots of programs that help people with intellectual disabilities and behavioral health issues. They need volunteers, and so do organizations that support senior citizens. Those are just a couple of examples.
Governor Ned Lamont announced Sunday that the State of Connecticut and its non-profit partners are looking to continue the momentum with the number of volunteers that have come forth to provide assistance.
More than 5,000 medical volunteers and 1,600 non-medical volunteers have worked front-line in providing assistance to Connecticut’s hospitals and health systems, said the Governor.
The capacity in which volunteers have helped include distribution of food at food banks, supporting the homeless population in shelters around the state, and meal deliveries to senior citizens who otherwise could not go out themselves.
Connecticut residents and businesses have been incredibly generous in offering to do what they can to meet the needs of our state at this challenging time.– Governor Ned Lamont
In a release Sunday, Governor Lamont expressed his thanks for each volunteer who has joined coronavirus response efforts in the state. The need for volunteers continues to be a pressing matter.
Volunteers with a medical background are critical to increasing the capacity of the healthcare system at this important time. I thank the medical volunteers who have come forward, and I ask for others who have not yet raised their hand to help to do so now – your skills and support continue to be needed.– Renée Coleman-Mitchell, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Public Health
To volunteer, see the steps below:
- Anyone interested in volunteering to help their communities in this effort can sign up by visiting ct.gov/coronavirus and clicking the “Volunteers” link. Those interested will be matched with a community provider in need based on their personal interests and abilities.
- Volunteers must be 18 or older, and should not volunteer if at risk or compromised. Those who are immunocompromised, over 60, showing symptoms of COVID-19, or live with or care for someone in any of those categories should avoid being in public, including for volunteer efforts. Please stay safe, stay home.
- Volunteers do not need to be health care workers. In addition to calling on physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals who may be retired, the state needs community members to help out at food banks, food deliveries to the elderly, and at shelters in a number of ways.
- For those who do have a background in health care, the state’s medical community has specific needs at this time. Hospitals have advised the state that they have a high need for critical care nurses and respiratory therapists.
- Every effort is being made to keep volunteers safe. The state and all of the organizations involved are working hard to make sure that everyone helping out can do so as safely as possible. If any volunteers have concerns, they are strongly urged to ask about the safety protocols of the organization they are volunteering.
- Volunteers will be sent where they are most needed and feel most comfortable. The volunteer process is centralized so that the state and participating organizations have a clear picture of everyone who can help and everything that is needed. That way, volunteers can be matched with an opportunity that is most in need of that person’s skill set.
- Now, if you are in a high risk group for getting the coronavirus, if you’re over 60, immunocompromised, or you live with or care for someone who is in that group. Stay home, stay safe, going out and volunteering is not for you. If you are not in a high risk group, and you have some free time these days, the state has a website set up to match potential volunteers with groups that need help. Go to ct.gov/coronavirus and click the “volunteers” link. You’ll be matched with a community provider based on your personal interests and abilities. Of course, people with a health care background are needed the most, but other folks can help out, too.